The Judge must follow the law in deciding the amount of any fine imposed. Sometimes there are minimum penalties and mandatory assessments that must be imposed by the law. Fines are generally expected to be paid at the time they are imposed. The Judge may allow the fine to be paid in installments if he/she is satisfied that payment cannot be made in full. You may apply for partial payments by filling out a financial questionnaire which the Judge will review. He/she will then make a decision about your payment arrangements. You will sign an order that will explain the terms of your payments. Failure to comply with this order may result in a warrant for your arrest and/or suspension of your driving privileges.
Central Intake Unit located at 175 S. Broad St., 1st floor, Trenton, New Jersey, handles the supervision of adults placed on Probation by the Superior and Municipal Courts, including monitoring and enforcement of standard and special conditions of probation. Supervision of Mercer County residents placed on probation by other jurisdictions, including other states, when the matter is transferred to this office and monitors all court-imposed community service.
By law, the Judge must order community service for certain traffic and criminal offenses. If you are ordered to community service, you will be directed to the Mercer County Probation Division. They are responsible for the placement and monitoring of defendants.
Drug and/or Alcohol Counseling
Many defendants are referred to drug and/or alcohol counseling agencies for evaluation and possible treatment. Information will be provided to you regarding this program. If you are a student at the College of New Jersey and you have been charged with a drug and/or alcohol violation, you may be required to attend the ADEP or Choices Program provided by the College of New Jersey. For more information on these programs, visit http://adep.tcnj.edu/.
The maximum jail term that can be imposed for offenses heard in municipal court is six months. The sentence is served at the Mercer County Correction Center located in Lambertville, NJ. The Judge may allow a defendant to serve the sentence on weekends through the Mercer County Superintendent’s Labor Assistance Program (S.L.A.P.) which is coordinated through the Jail’s Work Release Administrator. The defendant is given a S.L.A.P. Recommendation Order upon sentencing with instructions of when and where to appear and what is required for the initial interview.
Some offenses require suspension of your driving privileges for a minimum period. You cannot drive for any reason until the period of suspension ends, you have paid your restoration fee to the Motor Vehicle Commission, and have received written notification from the Motor Vehicle Commission that your driving privileges have been restored. If your license has been suspended for failure to appear, pay fines or comply with a condition of your sentence, it generally is not restored until your case is completed.
Points and Surcharges
In addition to penalties imposed by the court for moving traffic violations, the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) may also assess points on your driving record. Surcharges are fines assessed by MVC on an annual basis for drivers who have earned excessive points or committed a specific violation such as DWI. For more information regarding this contact the Motor Vehicle Commission at (609) 292-7500, or refer to the MVC website www.njmvc.gov.
Commercial Driver License Violations
Your Commercial Driver License (CDL) is at risk if you are convicted of two or more serious traffic violations. The MVC may, depending on your record, suspend your commercial driving privileges even if the violations were committed in a non-commercial motor vehicle. For more information regarding violations on your CDL license, refer to the MVC website www.njmvc.gov.
Driving While Intoxicated (39:4-50)
If your license was suspended because of a DUI offense, the court may require you to get an Ignition Interlock Device to fully restore your driving privileges. This device is attached to your vehicle with a built-in Breathalyzer and prevents the vehicle from starting if your BAC exceeds 0.05%. Also, any person convicted of an alcohol related traffic offense must participate in a program at an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC) where you attend mandatory alcohol and highway safety education courses and are evaluated for an alcohol or drug problem and determines the need for treatment. The defendant must satisfy the screening and referral requirements of the IDRC. Failure to comply will result in further license suspension and possible jail time. Defendant is given an IDRC Order upon sentencing. For more information regarding mandatory fines and penalties go to www.njmvc.com.
Mercer County Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center – IDRC (www.nhts.net/idrc)
New Jersey Ignition Interlock Device Program (NJMVC)
This procedure allows defendants charged with certain drug offenses to be monitored for a period of time determined by the court. The judge may require the defendant to attend drug counseling and have random drug tests. To be eligible, a defendant must have never been convicted of a drug offense in any state or federal court; never been granted a conditional discharge before; never received pre-trial intervention or pre-trial diversion in New Jersey. If granted a conditional discharge, the defendant must pay mandatory assessments and the judge may suspend their driving privileges. If during the monitoring period no additional offenses have been committed, and there is compliance with all conditions (including satisfying all financial obligations) the original charge will be dismissed.